Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Kees van der Pijl
Chapter 19: Bargaining in the global commodity chain: the Asia Floor Wage Alliance
Within a framework of unequal regional and national development, an unequal and segmented labour market, and transnational companies (TNCs) enjoying the advantage of benefiting from both these factors, labour organizations in Asia have forged the Asia Floor Wage Alliance to address the urgent need for developing new pathways of bargaining on a global scale. This chapter explores these issues in one of the most globalized industries, the garment industry, and explains the strategies of the Asia Floor Wage Alliance. The global commodity chain has been enabled by varieties of continually evolving transnational corporate structures and capital functions. Capital from the Global North, aided by Northern governments and multilateral institutions, and with acquiescence from Southern governments, creates an environment favouring the operation of such global commodity chains. Gary Gereffi initially put forward the concept of the global commodity chain (GCC) to analyse the shift in global production patterns (Gereffi 1994; Gereffi and Korzeniewicz 1994). It viewed the shift in organizational terms and went beyond the limitations of neoclassical explanations of relative prices to incorporate the concept of market power.
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